Research Team

SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

The team

The SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics is a unique success story at the frontier of life and computer science. When the Institute was founded in 1998, bioinformatics was still in its infancy, both in Switzerland and abroad. Today SIB is an independent non-profit foundation, recognized as being of public utility, which provides world-class bioinformatics to the national and international life science community. It is also the largest national bioinformatics network in Europe.

After more than 20 years of existence, the Institute brings together about 80 research & service groups and 800 scientists all over Switzerland, active in the fields of genomics, proteomics, phylogeny, systems biology, structural biology, and personalized health.

SIB’s mission is to lead and coordinate the field of bioinformatics in Switzerland. Our data science experts join forces to advance biological and medical research and enhance health. The Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics:

  • provides the national and international life science community with a state-of-the-art bioinformatics infrastructure, including services, resources, expertise; and
  • federates world-class researchers in bioinformatics based in Switzerland and delivers training in the field.

SIB on Campus Biotech: focus on personalised health

Today, Big Data is generated by modern technologies such as high-speed DNA sequencing. Data related to patients is of great interest for doctors if exploited correctly. It makes it possible to diagnose an illness at an early stage or adapt a tailor-made treatment. This is what is known as personalized medicine.

SIB is today playing a leading role in Switzerland’s personalized health landscape, by sharing its expertise in bioinformatics with hospitals and building the infrastructure that will enable patients’ data to be used for research to foster novel developments in personalized health.

In this context, three groups from SIB dedicated to personalized health are working at Campus Biotech:

  • Clinical bioinformatics: created in 2013, this group makes the link between the world of bioinformatics and the medical community. Its main objective is to engage in a collaborative work with Swiss hospitals to bridge the gap between current medical practices and technology outputs. The team’s missions are thus to establish common good practices for high-throughput omics data analysis in diagnostics across Swiss hospitals, and develop, implement and sustain state-of-the-art approaches and tools for upcoming technologies and medical needs in the field of data science.
  • Swiss-Prot: composed of around fifty biocurators, this group is in charge of developing and maintaining the UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot database, the most used resource on proteins around the world, in collaboration with the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI, GB) and the Protein Information Resource (PIR, USA). Swiss-Prot group also works on the PROSITE, ENZYME, HAMAP, RHEA, SwissLipids and ViralZone databases.
  • Vital-IT: The Vital-IT multidisciplinary team of scientists and technical staff maintains a competence centre in bioinformatics and computational biology to link fundamental and applied research. The core facility enables scientists to access state-of-the-art computational infrastructure (processing, storage and archiving) as well as expertise in data analysis and algorithmic development. Vital-IT partners with scientists to build computational solutions facilitating their research or to transform their ideas into production-quality software.

Moreover, SIB has been selected by the Swiss Government to set up and run the national data infrastructure in the framework of the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) initiative throught the Data Coordination Centre and BioMedIT projects.